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Edwards Duthie Shamash are proud to be recognised by the Legal 500 in the following:

Electoral Law – Tier 1

Link to Legal 500 entry

Edwards Duthie Shamash’s broad practice covers all matters pertaining to electoral law, including high-stakes and highly sensitive litigation. The team ‘has an encyclopaedic knowledge’ of matters such as local government law, judicial reviews, advice to shadow ministers, reputation management, and public inquiries. The firm is a longstanding adviser to the Labour party and acts for a number of key party figures. Senior partner Gerald Shamash’s extensive experience mean he is viewed by clients as ‘unrivalled‘ in the market. Other key names in the team include Frances Randle , who acts as the Labour Party’s local government solicitor and is experienced in all areas of administrative, local government, and planning law, and Kevin Bonavia , whose experience includes acting for clients in matters in the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Shamash; Frances Randle

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Bonavia

Testimonials

‘The team has an encyclopaedic knowledge of electoral law and practice and capacity for lateral thinking and giving realistic and robust advice.’

‘Gerald Shamash is No 1 in this field and is unrivalled.’


COP Team – Tier 3

Link to Legal 500 entry

The team at Edwards Duthie Shamash continues to be regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent protected parties in complex health and welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and the High Court. It also acts for family members and paid Relevant Persons Representatives and other advocacy organisations. Both Melissa Law and Laura Dawson are able to represent clients in cases in which the Court of Protection appoints them as the client’s Accredited Legal Representative.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Law

Other key lawyers:

Laura Dawson; Colette Ward

Testimonials

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash has an extremely talented Court of Protection Team and Community Care Team. The lawyers go above and beyond for the clients, many, if not all, of whom are extremely vulnerable individuals. The Court of Protection Team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act in highly complex and sensitive health and welfare issues. The lawyers are tremendously good at keeping clients informed about the progress of their case, explaining complex litigation to clients in a manner they can understand. They are empathetic, diligent and work hard to achieve the best results they can for their clients‘.

‘Melissa Law is a highly capable Court of Protection practitioner. She has amassed a wealth of experience in a relatively short space of time, working on some incredibly complex health and welfare cases with apparent ease. She is hardworking, intelligent, insightful and calm under pressure. It is always a pleasure to work with Melissa, however challenging the facts of a particular case may be‘.

‘The quality of the legal service provided is outstanding. The cases are well prepared and the service given to the clients; exceptional. Laura Dawson- intelligent, sharp and insightful. Highly committed to her clients and always ready to fight their corner, but still measured and sensible. A very good knowledge of substantive law in the area. Melissa Law – outstanding, simply one of the brightest and most hardworking young solicitors around. Her meticulous case preparation has already attracted plaudits from the judiciary. Mature and sensitive in her approach towards clients, she is a real pleasure to work with‘.

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent LW in the case of LW [2020] EWCOP 50 in which the judgment handed down by Hayden J explored and provided guidance on patterns of behaviour that may amount to controlling and coercive behaviour and the steps that local authorities, commissioners, providers and safeguarding teams caring for incapacitous adults can take to cease abusive contact.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent AEL in a matter which resulted in a reported judgment, AEL, Re (Mental Capacity Act 2005) [2021] EWCOP 9 considering the complex issue of deprivation of liberty in a private family home.
  • Currently instructed by the Official Solicitor in respect of a Section 21A matter where P, a 54 year old woman, has a diagnosis of early onset dementia

Crime – Tier 3

Link to Legal 500 entry

Edwards Duthie Shamash is praised as ‘a first-rate London criminal law firm‘, which acts for the Labour Party in a range of investigations and prosecutions. The team also counts the National Education Union (NEU) on its client roster, representing teachers involved in a variety of offences. Shaun Murphy in Ilford and Rakesh Bhasin and Robert Dynowski in the firm’s Waterloo office jointly lead the department, which also includes Shabaz Ahmed, who has recently focused his practice on murder cases.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Murphy; Rakesh Bhasin; Robert Dynowski

Other key lawyers:

Shabaz Ahmed

Testimonials

‘A first rate London criminal law firm which, unusually nowadays, is multi-disciplinary. Very good resources and expertise among a broad spectrum from the magistrates courts to serious crime to breaches of parliamentary/electoral law.’

‘Rakesh Bhasin (partner) is a first rate lawyer. He works diligently on all his cases whether as a litigator or an advocate. His client care has been exemplary. A stand out solicitor.’

‘They are very well established and respected firm particularly for “heavyweight” crime.’


Social Housing – Tenant Tier 4

Link to Legal 500 entry

Edwards Duthie Shamash advises on the full range of social housing matters, including possession proceedings, disrepair claims and unlawful evictions. The team, which is led by James Harrison, has particular expertise in homelessness and allocation cases, with additional experience of property guardian possession disputes. Simon Mullings, who is a co-head of the Housing Law Practitioners Association, has particular experience of possession proceedings and rent repayment orders.

Practice head(s):

James Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Simon Mullings; Nahar Islam; Olukemi Ajayi

Testimonials

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash are one of the best and most competent firms representing tenants. They have a duty advice contract, as a result of which they always have their finger on the pulse. They are strategic and sharp with a keen sense of where to push and where to concede.’

‘Simon Mullings is the joint Chair of HLPA. He is extremely knowledgeable not only on his cases, but on the political and legislative framework more widely. He is certainly a ‘star’ individual.’

‘The firm is dedicated to tenant work and the housing team goes above and beyond for their clients. They have a deep knowledge base in social housing and progress cases well on the strength of this knowledge and experience.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a number of individuals who have suffered loss as a consequence of a fire at the Barking Riverside development in June 2019. The fire started on a timber clad balcony and spread quickly to the neighbouring flats.
  • Acted for a client [Nikolaeva v LB Redbridge (2020) EWCA Civ 1586] in an important appeal concerning what constitutes a lawful final offer of accommodation under section 193 Housing Act 1996. The Court of Appeal held that the offer has to be of accommodation that is available.
  • Acted for a vulnerable client in successfully challenging a decision by the local authority that the relief duty had been terminated and thereby secured the provision of accommodation for the client. Case of interest because there have been very few reported challenges to the relief duty (as introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017). In this case the Local Authority had contended that the duty had been complied with but upon disclosure of the homelessness file it became clear that no steps had been taken to fulfil the duty since the client became homeless as the Personalised Housing Plan that had been prepared was focused on the steps to be taken to prevent homelessness.